Friday, December 1, 2017

Review ~ SUNSET BAY SANCTUARY by Roxanne Snopek

Sunset Bay Sanctuary (Sunset Bay, #1)
by: Roxanne Snopek
Series: Sunset Bay
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Women's Fiction
Releases: November 28, 2017
Publisher: Kensington Books/Zebra Shout

The spectacular scenery and craggy beaches draw tourists to the small Oregon town of Sunset Bay. But Sanctuary Ranch offers a different kind of experience: a refuge for people--and animals--desperate for a new beginning . . .

Haylee Hansen has made a career out of caring for and training the dogs and horses on her aunt's ranch. Part halfway house, part work camp, it also gives troubled kids and adults the tough love they so desperately need. Haylee should know. She was her aunt's first success story. But now her turbulent past is about to show up on her doorstep . . .

After thirteen years running a level one emergency room in Portland, Aiden McCall arrives in Sunset Bay a broken man. Anger and anxiety have nearly taken over his life--and could sabotage his new job at the local hospital. Until someone proposes an unconventional solution: a therapy dog.

Haylee has seen her share of damaged people, but no one like Aiden. As she tries to match him with the perfect dog, he'll help her to see that no one has a perfect life. And that opening yourself up to love is the only way to heal your soul . . .

Sunset Bay Sanctuary was not what I expected.  I thought it was going to be a romance with people who were broken or damaged, healing themselves, and falling in love.  It’s that and so much more.  I read the blurb several times.  Nowhere in the blurb did I get a sense that this was going to be a story that would almost bring me to tears.  A story that would have me hating, yes, hating the characters.  Sunset Bay Sanctuary is a story full of love, friendship, family, and angst.  I can’t forget about the dogs.  They are characters as well, and at times really steal the scene.

Haylee Hansen has lived a tough life.  She lost her mother at the age of thirteen and then only two years later lost her father and brother on the same day.  She ended up moving cross country to stay with her aunt Olivia who she barely knew.  Through many trials and heartache, the two became close and ultimately started Sanctuary Ranch.  The place is a combination of a  working dude ranch, foster home, and animal rescue.  All those working and/or living at the ranch have deep scars and troubled pasts.  However, they are family to the core.

Aiden McCall has lived through a nightmare.  One that for the past four years he keeps reliving nightly.  Once at the top of his field in emergency medicine, he now finds himself temporarily in the small town of Sunset Bay, Oregon at Sunset Bay Memorial, a low-level hospital.

Haylee and Aiden are thrust together when it is suggested that Aiden get a therapy dog to help with his anxiety.  What should only be a professional relationship turns personal when desire is awakened in them both.  Haylee insists that because of their issues, she and Aiden would never work.  But Aiden sees that she’s scared and is very persistent.

I have to admit that there is A LOT going on with Sunset Bay Sanctuary.  I initially found the large number of characters, almost introduced at once, daunting to keep up with.  Haylee’s past threw me for a loop.  A discovery by Aiden had me screaming and turning on the waterworks.  The climax of this story had me happy for Haylee and Aiden and glad that I stuck with the story.  However, I was left with some unanswered questions.  As I mentioned, there is a large cast of characters and I’m looking forward to getting more of their individual backgrounds in future stories.  I really hope a certain knitting cowboy gets a story.

**Received a copy from the author and reviewed voluntarily.**

Rating: 4.5

Purchase Sunset Bay Sanctuary from:

The Sunset Bay Series:

Driftwood Creek, the second book in the series releases June 26, 2018

Places to find Roxanne Snopek:



  1. Wow, this sounds like a wonderful, heart-warming book. I'll have to check it out.

    1. Hi Brooke!

      You do need to check it out. I think you'll like it.


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